Cigna beats the Street with $1.5B in profit for Q2

Cigna posted $1.5 billion in profit in the second quarter of 2021, echoing its industry peers in seeing its earnings decline from the same period in 2020.

In the prior-year quarter, Cigna reported $1.8 billion in profit, according to the insurer’s earnings release posted Thursday. National health plans reported sky-high profits in the second quarter of 2020 amid the peak of COVID-19’s impact on care utilization, to the point that Congress began investigating their financial performance.

Cigna’s second-quarter 2021 earnings surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, according to analysts at Zacks Investment Research.

The insurer also beat the Street on revenue for the quarter, reporting $43.1 billion. That’s up from the second quarter of 2020, when Cigna reported $39.3 billion in revenue.

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Profits were also down in the first half of 2021 compared to the first half of 2020, according to the earnings release. Through the first six months of this year, Cigna brought in $2.9 billion in profit, compared to $2.9 billion in the first half of 2020.

Revenues for the first half of 2021 were up significantly year over year, however, Cigna said. Through June 30, 2021, the insurer brought in $84.1 billion in revenue. In the first half of 2020, by contrast, it reported $77.6 billion in revenue.

“Our more than 70,000 employees continue rising to the moment, delivering for our customers, patients, and clients during a period of ongoing uncertainty around the world,” said David Cordani, Cigna CEO, in a statement. “Our second quarter results were solid, as we continue to drive our business forward and invest to fuel our sustained long-term growth.”

The company boasted 101.9 million pharmacy benefit customers and nearly 17 million medical benefit customers at the end of the second quarter, according to the release.

As a result of its performance, Cigna raised its full-year guidance for revenue, and it now expects to bring in about $170 billion this year. It maintained its earnings guidance of $20.20 per share, an estimate that bakes in about $2.50 per share in unfavorable impacts related to the pandemic.

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